THE BIRMINGHAM City Ladies trio of Karen Carney, Jade Moore and Jo Potter all played their part as England secured an historic bronze medal at the Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Mark Sampsons’ Lionesses produced a series of heroic performances and came within a whisker of making it into Sunday’s final.
Against all odds England, who had not qualified for the knockout stage in any previous World Cup competition, progressed to the semi-final where they lost 2-1 after conceding an own goal in extra-time.
But they showed tremendous character to bounce back and beat the number one ranked side in the world, Germany, to claim third place.
Blues ladies midfielder Jade Moore came on as a substitute during the first group match defeat against France but went on to start every other game and became an important cog in England’s midfield.
Carney scored two goals in the group stage but her lack of fitness showed in the latter stages of the tournament, although she played a key role in the 1-0 win over Germany.
And Potter played a bit part in the tournament having came on as second half substitute against Columbia in the group stages and she also played a full 90 minutes against Germany.
“We have come to this tournament and every game we have played we have been fighting away,” said England head coach Sampson.
“We played three of the top nations in the world – France, Japan and Germany – and this team are incredible.
“Life’s horrible, you get a kick in the teeth sometimes just when you think you have made it. We got a big kick in the teeth in that Semi-Final.
“But we wanted to show the world that everybody has tough times, but you have to dust yourself down and pick yourself up and go again.
“They are just awesome these group of players and we deserved that.
It is hoped that England’s success on the world stage will help increase the image of women’s football in the UK.
TV figures revealed that peak viewing audiences across England’s seven games totaled 14.6million, which is a 185 per cent increase compared to the previous two major tournaments.
Viewing figures during the 1-0 victory over Germany peaked at 2.28million, while 2.38million people tuned in to watch the heartbreaking semi-final defeat to Japan.